I wrote the below text shortly before word began to spread about the attacks in Paris. I was about to put my computer away when notifications started popping up on my phone. My first thought: “Please, not again.” The next hour was spent compulsively scrolling through feeds, but at a certain point I decided to disconnect. I deleted Facebook and Twitter and kept the news off the TV. Periodically, I’d look at the New York Times for updates, all of them devastating.
That evening, I just wanted to be with Eric. We hadn’t seen each other in a few days since I was down in New Jersey visiting my family earlier in the week, and so we curled up on the couch, had dinner and put on some mindless shows. While he did the dishes, I went over to Maki’s bed and lay beside her and she gave me a few licks with her tongue. She knew what I needed.
I’m not the DIY type. As a blogger, I feel like I’m in the minority. I’ve seen the posts featuring cool labels and homemade this and that, stared at them admiringly, Pinned them and thought, “That’s so beautiful! I should make those for our next party.” But then, when I’m cooking for 20+ people, I quickly forget about all of that and focus on just getting the meal on the table.
If there’s anyone who could get me into DIY, it would be Maggie. I’ve known her for years, not just through her site, Eat Boutique, but on a personal level… she lives a few towns over from us and we try to get together about once a month. Maggie is an inspiration, not just because she’s created a wonderful, hugely successful brand, but because she’s a lovely person with a beautiful heart. When she first told me about her book, Food Gift Love, I was absolutely ecstatic. I know it was a tremendous amount of work… but the result is pure magic. It’s a fabulous resource for recipes to make for family and friends (or, you know, to just treat yo self).
Eric and I have been playing around with homemade liqueurs. We picked up a handle of grain alcohol when we were in New Jersey a few years ago with the mission of making limoncello (at the time, grain alcohol wasn’t sold in Massachusetts). The bottle sat in our cabinet for years, untouched. This past summer, I decided to try my hand at some homemade ginger liqueur. If we could, we’d put ginger in every cocktail, so it made sense to make our own. We pulled out our handy dandy sous vide and used that to speed up the process (this allows you to heat the liquid to a temperature where you won’t burn off the alcohol).
So, here we are… a recipe for homemade ginger liqueur, a twist on the whiskey smash (perfect for all your holiday parties), AND a giveaway of Food Gift Love. Could it get any better? I don’t think so!
Ok, so here’s the deal with the giveaway:
To enter: Leave a comment on this post. It can be anything, but I’d love to hear what you’re all doing to celebrate the holidays.
Rules: This giveaway will end on Friday, November 27, 2015 at 12:00 PM EST. I’ll pick one (1) winner via random.org and that person will be contacted via e-mail. One (1) entry per person and entrants must have a US mailing address (sorry international friends) and provide a valid email address. Best of luck!
As a teenager and newbie pescatarian, veggie burgers never did much for me. I consumed them when I first stopped eating red meat and poultry 16 years ago, but only so that I’d feel included while everyone else chomped into hotdogs, hamburgers and grilled chicken. Over the years, I’ve learned that veggie burgers can be so much more than what I was served back then.
The joy of making them at home is that you can tailor them to your preferences, giving the patties some spice and all the textures you desire. When Negra Modelo reached out about partnering with them on their “Perfect Complement” campaign, there was no doubt that I was going to do a sweet potato burger. Working off the caramel and brown sugar notes in the beer, I roasted the sweet potato to bring out similar flavors. A beer like Negra Modelo goes well with spicy food, so chopped jalapeño and a bit of smoked paprika felt like a natural fit. But, really, it wouldn’t be a burger without some messy toppings. While you could easily throw blue cheese on there (and I fully support that), I went with a creamy, zingy avocado spread to brighten things up and purple cabbage slaw for crunch.